60 Days On the Mat — Day 34: In Memory of Charles Scott Turner

Charles Scott TurnerJune 22, 1968 - December 27, 2012

Charles Scott Turner
June 22, 1968 – December 27, 2012

It was late afternoon when I first read the news; I had just completed day two of restorative yoga at home because of this pesky nausea.

He left the world on December 27th from an asthma attack.

An asthma attack.

We were not friends on Facebook.  I did not even know he was on Facebook; but I knew that sweet smile the minute I saw his face scroll through my newsfeed.  The postings were full of condolences, remembrances, shock and sadness for one of my many childhood friendships from Young Junior High School, Charles Scott Turner.

My heart sank.

He could change the energy of an entire room with his generous spirit; offering his hand in friendship to anyone who needed it.

He knew no strangers, only friends he had not met yet.

That is how I remember him.

My friend Kelly writes, “I just wonder if Charles Scott Turner knew how many lives he touched with his kindness & joyful soul. In my mind I can see him so clearly, walking with a bounce in his step and smiling that big beautiful smile.”

Me too.

And my friend Caren writes, “I will miss my sweet friend, Charles Scott Turner, whom I’ve known since jr high. He was a true testament to how one should live their life … Full of love & joy, always positive and completely fearless … just to name a few.  A true blessing to all he came in touch with …”

Yes, he was.

People like that do not realize what a gift they were born with in their ability to make everyone feel welcome and accepted.  As someone who could be painfully shy at that age, I always admired that skill in my friends who possessed it.  My personality is one that soaks up the energy of the room, not change it, so I was forever seeking out the Scott Turner’s of the world.  They brought out the very best in those around them — he always helped my light shine a little bit brighter.

I know it’s easy to say fine sentiments like this about people when they are no longer here on earth, but in Charles Scott Turner’s case it was all true.  I didn’t know him at 44, but I knew him at an age when we were forming the type of adults we would be.  The core of who you are does not change all that much between 12 and 44.  The way I see it, most of the people who greeted everyone with a joyful smile at 12, are still doing it at 44.

As I read all of the sentiments from his adult friends, it does not seem the sweet, gentle boy from Young Junior High changed all that much at all.

Yes, I went to the mat, but the ultimate goal of yoga is to bring your practice with you into the world.  To be present, opening your heart and seeing the beauty in those around you, so today I write not about my life, but in honor of a life cut short.

Today I did think about my time at Dunn – Young Junior High – Arlington High – all of my friends from CATS and I feel such immense gratitude.  I have so many adult friends who run away from that period of their lives, and I embrace it now more than I ever have because I realize what a gift it was.  I am blessed to know a lot of Charles Scott Turners’, and many of them grew up in Arlington, Texas.  There is not one person I would not want to meet for a drink or a quick hello if the opportunity arose (ok, well, maybe there is one), and that says a lot about where we came from.

That says a lot about who we were then and who we are now.

Today I cried for a life cut short; a shining light the world will miss.

As someone who has seen many lights go out too soon, I do know the very best way to keep it shining is to remember it.  Talk about it.  Share it.

And thank you, Facebook, for allowing us to do that.

We will never forget you, Charles Scott Turner.

I was listening to the radio as I typed this, and These Are My People came humming though my speakers.  It made me think about all the people I knew who also knew Charles Scott Turner (many better than I did) — and I smiled and thought, yeah, these ARE my people.  

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